Is there anything better than a picnic? We can’t think of any and we can’t think of any better way to celebrate July — and the rest of the summer months — than by celebrating National Picnic Month. Summer by the pool is one of the best ways to deal with hot, humid days, not have to fight traffic and have friends and family over for good food and good friends.
You don’t have to leave your home to have a picnic. Bring the picnic to your backyard with something as elaborate as a huge cookout or by eating peanut butter jelly sandwiches and washing it down with fresh squeezed lemonade on a blanket under a tree. Truly, any time you’re outside enjoying a meal it’s a picnic, right?
Add a swimming pool to the mix and the summer and picnic fun can happen all day, every day. The pool makes your home a staycation hot spot and then you’re just a quick snack — cheese and crackers and chips and dip are also great picnic foods — away from a full blown picnic.
What words mean picnic to you?
- Corn on the cob
- Fresh squeezed lemonade
- Adult beverages
- Swim suits
- Starry nights
- Summer beverages
- Veggies and dips
- Pickled foods
- Fun picnic games
Let’s Have A Picnic
Who had the first idea of calling a meal eaten outside a picnic? Eating a meal in the great outdoors is one of the purest joys of the summer months. The word itself was coined in 1692 by Tony Willis when he started the tradition of eating meals outdoors in the summer months.
Picnics can be simple family gatherings, weddings, impromptu get-togethers or large multi-generational family reunions and everything in between.
Our favorite picnic recipes
Cheeseburgers are a mainstay on any outdoor barbecue party. The key is to use quality beef with a little bit of fat. Don’t worry about the extra calories. One bite of this will assure you that it’s going to so worth it!
1 ½ lbs lean ground chuck with 20% fat content
1 ½ tablespoons canola oil
Salt and pepper to taste
4 slices American cheddar cheese
4 hamburger buns split crosswise
- Preheat the grill to high. If using charcoal, heat up the coals until they glow bright orange and ash over.
- Divide the ground chuck into 4 equal portions, about 6 ounces each. Form each portion into a ¾-inch thick burger patty. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
- Brush the burger patty with canola oil on both sides. Place on the direct side of the grill. Cover and grill about 3 minutes or until the burger patties are golden and slightly charred on the first side. Flip the burgers and grill for another 3 minutes.
- Add the cheese onto the tops of the burgers. Place the buns on the indirect side of the grill, cut side down. Cover and grill for another minute to melt the cheese and toast the buns.
- Remove the burger patties and buns from the grill. Spread a liberal amount of mayonnaise on the cut sides of the buns. Place the patty on top of the bottom half of the bun and top with the top part of the bun. Serve immediately. Source: Food Network
Classic hot dogs
Get the hot dog of your choice — white hots, red hots, beef franks, pork, tofu, turkey. Cook them up then top with this delicious Coney Island sauce you can easily cook up on the grill.
Coney Island sauce
- Eight hot dog buns
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Cook and stir beef in the hot skillet until browned and crumbly
- Drain and discard grease.
- Add chili sauce, water, chili seasoning, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and onion powder; bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer until sauce is thickened about 30 minutes.
- Grill hot dogs on the grill until done. Place 1 hot dog in each bun and top with Coney sauce. (AllRecipes.com)
Traditional macaroni salad or macaroni salad with tuna
- 1 (16 ounce) package of macaroni
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1 carrot grated
- 2 tablespoons sweet pickle juice
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- Sprinkle paprika on top
- (Can of tuna drained and flaked, if you’d like)
Cook noodles until al dente. Rinse cooked noodles in cold water, set aside until cooled.
Add in all ingredients except for eggs and paprika. Slice eggs and arrange on top of Macaroni Salad, sprinle paprika on top. Enjoy! Keep the macaroni salad refrigerated until you’re ready to eat.
Traditional lemon iced tea
Squeeze 6 lemons (roll them between your hand first to loosen up the juice)
Brewed English breakfast tea. Cooled. Make extra strong.
Add the lemon juice, a half a cup of sugar and lemon slices to a large pitcher with ice.
Add ice and 6 cups cold English breakfast tea.
Make simple syrup: Dissolve 1 cup sugar in 1 cup water in a saucepan over low heat; let cool. Combine with 1 cup lime juice, 2 cups water, some frozen chopped strawberries and ice.
Favorite picnic snacks
Chips, dip, pretzels, cut-up veggies and your favorite dips — store-bought or homemade. It’s easy to make dips with a tub of sour cream and mix with either dried french onion soup and/or dried ranch dressing.
Slice your favorite veggies, toss with salt, pepper, olive oil and balsamic vinegar and roast on the grill.
baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake at 350 degrees until crispy — about 30 minutes.
Watermelon Fruit Salad Bowl
Nothing better than a picnic treat that is in its own bowl!
- One large, perfectly ripe watermelon
- Half of a small cantaloupe
- Half of a small honeydew melon
- Two cups of red grapes
- Half a can of pineapple chunks (optional)
- Two cups of strawberries and/or blueberries
Slice the melon in half, scoop out the melon and use the shell to hold the fresh salad.
Use a melon baller for the cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon. Chill and enjoy!
Don’t forget picnic games
- Corn hole
- Just lying back relaxing
- Set up a Nature Scavenger hunt. Look at items around your yard and put them on a list for your guests to find: Leaves, twigs, you can hide various items around the yard, a four leaf clover, and more
- Purchase in-pool games, pool noodles and rafts.
- Have buckets poolside to hold sunscreen for your guests.
- If you have a kiddie pool available, set it up poolside and fill with sand and beach toys for those children who don’t want to swim.